Power blackouts do not require special preparedness measures from the users of medicines and medical devices
Being prepared for disruptions such as power blackouts is a normal part of Finnish pharmaceutical services and is included in the responsibilities of pharmaceutical companies and pharmacies. Fimea has reminded operators to prepare for possible interruptions in electricity distribution.
Medicine users manage with normal routines
As usual, you should renew any prescriptions you have in good time and ensure that you have a few days’ supply of medicines at home. You should also have the usual emergency supplies like wound care products, as well as batteries for the health monitoring devices you need at home, such as a blood pressure monitor. You should follow your usual everyday routines for medicinal treatment if there is a power blackout.
You should check the information and instructions in the package leaflet of your medicines in advance or ask a pharmacy for advice in good time. The FimeaWeb medicine search has information on all medicinal products with a valid marketing authorisation in Finland and their package leaflets.
Storage and use of medicines requiring cold storage
Medicines are usually stored at room temperature, but some medicines, such as insulin products, have to be stored in a refrigerator. You can find the storage instructions on the medicine package. Short periods at a slightly higher temperature do not usually affect the preservability of a medicine.
During a possible power blackout, you should not open the refrigerator unnecessarily in order to keep the temperature in the refrigerator as stable as possible. If the power blackout continues for a longer period and the temperature in the refrigerator rises, the medications stored in the refrigerator can be packed in an ice pack or cool box, for example. However, you must take care not to freeze the medicine.
How should medical device users prepare for potential power blackouts?
You may have a medical electrical device that you use at home.
You should read the operating instructions supplied with the device carefully. You should prepare for power blackouts by checking whether the device contains a battery and by keeping the batteries charged. You should also practice what to do during a disruption and to review those procedures regularly.
For more detailed instructions on using a medical device during power blackouts, contact the device’s supplier, which is usually a social welfare or health care unit. You are not allowed to connect your medical device to electrical equipment that is not authorised by the manufacturer. You should note this when using things like external backup power supplies.
Instructions for the safe use of medicines (pdf)
Official preparedness guideline 72tuntia.fi
- Medicine preservability: Tarja Kankkunen, tel. 0295 223 345
- Medical devices: Markku Mård, tel. 0295 223 289
- E-mail address format: firstname.lastname@example.org